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Working on a vent unit

CNA/MA   (7,710 Views 8 Comments)
by CNANY CNANY (New Member) New Member

891 Profile Views; 12 Posts

Hello everyone.

I keep seeing help wanted ads for a particular LTC facility wanting per diem CNA's for a vent unit. I'm thinking of applying but wanted to see if anyone has any feedback on their experience on a vent unit. I'm a med/surg NA in a hospital setting and not that familiar with vent units in LTC. They are willing to train.

Thanks for any feedback.

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KimberlyRN89 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg/urology.

1,641 Posts; 23,443 Profile Views

I did a couple days of orientation on a vent unit..all I remember was that the majority of the patients required total care, and also most of them had trachs & feeding tubes. Very hard work..but interesting at the same time. It just wasn't my cup of tea though, lol.

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AJ_427 has 2 years experience.

44 Posts; 1,364 Profile Views

There is a vent unit at my facility and I have one comment: it's a very hard work and not many people last. CNA's avoid it as much as possible. It's scary and tough to work there. Keep in mind that I am writing just about my particular facility. People are scared to work there because of all the machines, ventilators, trachs, G-tubes, oxygen masks, etc. They don't want to pull anything out of residents. A lot of them have seizures. They need to be repositioned very often. Most of them are incontinent and they need to be changed a lot. At my facility only one resident is able to speak so others communicate by clapping, blinking, saying the alphabet where each letter stands for something different (r for reposition, i for itchy and so on).

We basically dress them in the morning (the RT or nurse is responsible for unplugging and plugging the machines when we dress them), they stay in their wheelchairs, go to physical therapy, go to school, or lay in bed. Each resident is different. Some need to stay in bed at all times and be connected to some machine. Others have oxygen tanks on their wheelchairs so they can go places. Some can eat and others have feeding tubes. It's very diverse. In the afternoon, everyone gets a shower or a bedbath. This is another reason why CNA's hate working on vent. We have to do it fast and be very careful with trachs. During the night we make sure that everyone's diapers are dry, they are repositioned every 2 hours, and we do suction.

Lastly, residents on vent unit die often. 3 of my residents died within the past 3 months. All died because of complications. If I were you, I would apply and try to work for a while, but don't resign from your current job. Like I wrote earlier, not many people last.

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yousoldtheworld has 5 years experience.

1,196 Posts; 9,839 Profile Views

I'm not on a vent unit, per se, but my usual hall at my facility is for kids and young adults with trachs and feed tubes, all are total care, incontient, most are unable to speak, etc. And I love it. Yes, it is hard work - you do everything for them, and you have to be mindful of the trachs, tubes, etc. But it is very rewarding and easier in some ways - you don't have complainers, call light ringers, and the people you are caring for truly need you.

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352 Posts; 8,295 Profile Views

I'm a little bit dim because I don't exactly know what a vent unit is. From what it sounds like I think I'd like working in one, I wish there was such a thing around here but this is a small town. The total care people are always my favorite ones to care for.

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yousoldtheworld has 5 years experience.

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Most places I've seen keep most of the residents who are on ventilators, trachs, other severe respiratory issues, and sometimes feed tubes (when in combination with a trach, etc) in one area, that's all a vent unit is.

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Dorali has 12 years experience as a BSN, LPN, RN and specializes in 6 yrs LTC, 1 yr MedSurg, Wound Care.

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I don't really have anything to add as far as experience, but the administrator has been talking about turning one of our halls into a vent unit. She wanted to know which CNAs would like to do it because they were going to send us to a Level 2 CNA class, which would also gave us a pretty good raise in pay. She said it would be turning and repositioning a lot, which is one of the things I don't mind doing, so I would go for it if I had the opportunity. I'm sure there would be a lot of learning involved and that would be great if you plan on going to nursing school in the future.

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352 Posts; 8,295 Profile Views

I don't really have anything to add as far as experience, but the administrator has been talking about turning one of our halls into a vent unit. She wanted to know which CNAs would like to do it because they were going to send us to a Level 2 CNA class, which would also gave us a pretty good raise in pay. She said it would be turning and repositioning a lot, which is one of the things I don't mind doing, so I would go for it if I had the opportunity. I'm sure there would be a lot of learning involved and that would be great if you plan on going to nursing school in the future.

Dondie that sounds like a great opportunity!! Good luck!!!

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